The NHS in England are to receive an extra £5.4bn over the next six months to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and attempt to tackle the backlog.
The £5.4bn, which is for NHS England only, will be broken down into:
- £2.8bn for Covid-19 costs, including injection control measures
- £600m for day-to-day costs
- £478m to help hospitals free up beds, by discharging patients quickly and safely with community support
- £1.5bn to help hospitals recover scheduled surgery, including £500m of capital funding
The Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said “The NHS was there for us during the pandemic but treating Covid patients has created huge backlogs”. He has stated that the money will go “straight to the front line” and provide quicker treatment for patients.
There is a huge increase in demand now with patients returning to the health service for treatment and The Institute for Fiscal Studies has estimated that up to 14 million people could be on waiting lists in England by next autumn.
The NHS is under unrelenting pressure on the verge of what promises to be a difficult winter. Whilst the extra money is gratefully embraced, some in the NHS are still wondering whether it will be enough.